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Mars Attacks! (1996) Poster

(1996)

Goofs

Continuity 

When the Martians land at the Capitol, the trees alternately have no leaves, then have many.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Donald Kessler's head wakes up inside the alien space-craft, we can hear a steady heartbeat. However, when the camera pans out, and we are able to see the heart to the left of the screen, the heart is beating much faster than the speed the audio is beating.
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Character error 

Richie brings home donuts to the trailer. His mother asks how old they are, to which he says, "Monday," and she retorts, "that's six days ago," making it Sunday - yet the opening scene says it is Thursday morning.
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The caption of the president's press conference indicates that it occurs in the afternoon, but the president says "Good Morning".
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Continuity 

In the initial attack, a media van is knocked over but is soon back on its wheels.
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When the general says that they have to attack with nuclear weapons, and shouts; "It already is war!" and the president responds; "Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!" you can see the general's clipboard change place from under the general's arm and to the desk and back again.
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When General Casey is in his jeep on his way to greet the Martians in the Nevada desert, his jeep has 4 star flags on the front. However, he is only a 3 star general.
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When General Casey arrives at the Landing Site in Pahrump, there are only about 100-200 civilians and a few reporters present, but in the shot of Barbara overlooking the Landing Site on the hill, the site is filled with several thousand people.
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When the Martians land in the desert for the official greeting, the TV in the White House is tuned to the commentary being broadcast by Jason Stone, but a minute later it is showing the report from Nathalie Lake, who works for a different channel.
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The General hands the president a clipboard which reverses itself when the president accepts it.
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At the Casino, Art Land puts the cigarette in his mouth and gets some poker chips for his wife. In the next shot he is talking to her and the cigarette is gone.
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The distance between Tom Jones' backup singers changes between close and long shots.
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When the Martians come to her room, Grandma is holding/not holding the headphones cord between shots.
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Cedric and Neville remove the body of an alien from a bed. On the bed, the brain is green. As the body falls from the building the brain is brown.
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The position of the dog during the interview.
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Errors in geography 

The world map behind the presidents desk in the War Room is missing the north island of New Zealand.
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The "Martian Girl" is standing in front of the Washington Monument when the White House Press Secretary rolls up in his limousine and offers to show her around the White House, which we see just across the street. Actually, the Washington Monument and White House are about 1/2 mile apart.
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When the Houses of Parliament are shown during the Martian attack, they are shown in reverse. The tower with Big Ben is to the left of the screen, when in fact it would be to the right of the screen as the shot is from the south bank of the river Thames.
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In one of the Kansas scenes, the camera pans across the farm and surrounding areas. The faint skyline of the University of Kansas (in Lawrence) can be seen, though the scene apparently takes place elsewhere.
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Iceland is rotated 90 degrees clockwise on the world map behind the presidents desk in the War Room.
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Factual errors 

The Easter Island Heads face in toward land, not out to sea as in the film.
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The bus driver Louise Williams sees her kids Cedric & Neville in a games arcade and says to her passengers: "Excuse me, folks but we've got to make an unscheduled stop!" It takes about four seconds between braking and stopping. At 30 mph that would have taken about 120 feet yet she manages to stop the bus at the arcade about 10 feet after she first saw the kids.
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Taffy Dale presents Florence Norris and Richie Norris with the Congressional Medal of Honour and the Medal of Honour respectively. The Medal of Honour is exclusively a military award. There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version. The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. Florence Norris and Richie Norris were civilians and should have received the civilian medals.
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Miscellaneous 

Rude Gambler comes face to face with a Martian who raises his weapon. There is the sound of a weapon being 'cocked'. This is the first time that we hear such a sound when the weapons are used.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The president's inconsistent tie during his speech is an in-joke reference to a similar continuity error with Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.

Revealing mistakes 

When Professor Donald Kessler and Jerry Ross enter the oval office to tell the President that the Martians have issued a formal apology, no ceiling is seen in the previous room (set).
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During the first attack scene, Stone is shown crawling with a Jeep in the background. The shot has been flopped as evidenced by the skeleton driver and steering wheel being on the right.
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When the General is firing two 1911A1's at the Alien Ambassador you can see that the slide locks in place on the pistol in his left hand, yet he continues to fire an empty firearm.
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When the aliens break into the president's compound, you can see where the door is going to split before it is blown open.
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When General Decker is preparing his pistols in the war room, he pulls back the slide, then pushes the slide release to release it forward - this is only necessary to do if the weapon is not loaded; on a loaded gun, racking the slide chambers a round and lets the action move into the forward position, ready to fire.
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When Cedric and Neville Williams leave their video game to talk to their dad on the phone, the video game they were playing continues to rack up points. Also, the first time we see them in the movie, they are at an arcade paying quarters to play the very same game.
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A car rips the fake pedestrian crossing in Las Vegas.
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When the saucers fly over Washington D.C., they leave no shadows on the landscape below.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

At the end of the movie Granny and Richie are awarded Congressional Medals of Honor. The CMH is only given to members of the armed forces - they should have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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Continuity 

Just after the death of General Casey, there is a wide shot of the landing area with nothing shown on the red carpet in front of the saucer, where the Martians have just been shown to be standing.
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When the Galaxy is destroyed, an African-American woman on the street wearing a gold dress drops her purse and begins running when the Martian ship fires, but in the shot of the people fleeing on the street, her purse is back with her, with no time for her to have gone back to get it.
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Plot holes 

The Martians breathe nitrogen and need to have it supplied through their life vests or, in the case of the Martian girl infiltrator, through special gum. However when the scientists analyze the special gum they say that it is "nitrogen, NO2". NO2 is called nitrogen dioxide and is poisonous to humans, while nitrogen is the primary component of the Earth's atmosphere which means that the Martians probably didn't need any extra.
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When the Martians infiltrate Tom Jones' concert, the skeletons of his three backup singers are seen, but the Martians' ray-guns were never heard firing, (nor did any of the audience or band members apparently see the singers' flesh burn up, the flash of the ray-guns, or anything else out of the ordinary) and the music was not loud enough to drown out the sound.
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Revealing mistakes 

When part of the Martian Girl's mask is ripped, her teeth are revealed. Yet when she continues to chew her Nitrogen gum, the exposed Martian teeth do not move.
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The disintegrating General Casey moves parts of his body in ways that are impossible after the destruction of so many of his other parts.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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